nick_joerling-teapot-2A ceramic teapot by North Carolina artist Nick Joerling is among the items featured in the new “Clay Directions” exhibit beginning Tuesday at Brookdale Community College. 

With the coming of September, activity around the sprawling Lincroft layout of Brookdale Community College centers around a new academic semester. But for one BCC faculty member, thoughts stray to the fall of 2014, and a sabbatical that brought her to the creative enclaves of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

It was there in the arts-friendly communities of Asheville, Spruce Pine and other western North Carolina locales that art professor Lori Uffer fell in love with the region’s “long and extremely rich tradition of fine arts and crafts” — going on to write two books documenting her travels, and creating the online gallery Clay Directions. Beginning Tuesday and continuing through September 17, BCC’s Center for the Visual Arts (CVA) hosts a companion exhibit to the website, showcasing the works of dozens of Blue Ridge creative folk.

CVAgalleryMore than 90 pieces of pottery, glass, wood and weaving — all of them collected by Uffer in her travels around North Carolina — are included in the exhibit. Among the featured contributors are internationally recognized glass artist Robert Levin, award-winning basket weaver Billie Ruth Sudduth, and noted ceramicists Cynthia Bringle, Judith Duff and Nick Joerling. At least two of the showcased artists have been named “North Carolina Living Treasures” according to the professor, whose own work appears in the show as well.

There is no charge to attend the “Clay Directions” exhibit, for which parking in Lot 2 is recommended. Call (732)224-2743 for CVA Gallery hours, or to obtain additional information.